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Conflict is a useful but dangerous property that causes monsters to attack indiscriminately.


Conflict has several effects. Peaceful or tame monsters will start attacking you or other monsters near them, though for all other purposes they are still considered peaceful or tame; i.e., attacking them still carries consequences. This makes conflict dangerous near strong pets, shopkeepers, or other peaceful monsters. However, it will also make nearby monsters attack each other instead of you, which can be incredibly helpful, particularly in high-density areas like the Astral Plane and Moloch's Sanctum.

Monsters are affected if they are in your line of sight and at most 8 squares away. Blinded monsters and the Wizard of Yendor are impervious to conflict.[1] Monsters with a sufficiently high combined magic resistance and level can resist this.[2][3][4]

Monsters may resist conflict; this happens if rn2(100 + alev − dlev) < mtmp->data->mr, where alev is 5 for a ring of conflict and 10 for a weapon (like the Sceptre of Might), dlev is the monster's level capped at 50, and mtmp->data->mr is the monster's magic resistance. For peaceful monsters, alev is always 5.[5] For example, a level 28 master mind flayer pet will always resist conflict from the Sceptre of Might, as rn2(77) will always be smaller than the flayer's MR of 90.

If you are generating conflict when you arrive on the Astral Plane, instead of getting a guardian Angel, you will be attacked by some hostile Angels. If you are not generating conflict when you arrive, but do so later in the presence of your guardian angel, it will also turn hostile.

Monsters affected by conflict move around randomly if they have engulfed you. If used properly, this can be very helpful to a pacifist.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Per this commit:

The chance to resist conflict now depends on the player's charisma, the monster's level, and the player's level. Conflict is resisted if rnd(20) > min(19, (ACURR(A_CHA) - mtmp->m_lev + u.ulevel)) - thus, there is always at least a 5% chance to resist it. Conflict also now requires that the monster see the player, not that the monster be in the player's line of sight. These changes are imported from SporkHack.


The main source of conflict is the ring of conflict. Unfortunately, wearing a ring of conflict burns nutrition very quickly; every even-numbered turn your nutrition is decremented. A ring of conflict can often be eaten for a chance of obtaining conflict as an intrinsic. Intrinsic conflict has the same nutrition cost as extrinsic conflict, minus the ring hunger.

Conflict can also be toggled by invoking the Sceptre of Might. This does not cause increased nutrition drain.


Generating conflict is a very effective way of clearing out dense groups of enemies, since monsters will fight each other in addition to you. A common strategy is to burn Elbereth on the ground, and sit back and watch as the monsters battle it out while you take minimal damage. All monsters are prone to conflict (some may resist as explained in the formula above), including normally peaceful monsters and your pet; however, you can still incur the penalty of murder on the peaceful humans that attack you! Elbereth will continue to work against those who respect it as long as the engraving remains intact. Popular places for conflict are crowded levels such as the Big Room and certain quest branches. The elemental planes are also a good candidate for conflict, though generating conflict on the Astral Plane causes hostile Angels to replace the usual tame one.

You do not gain experience when monsters kill one another, but the monsters will gain experience for themselves. Use caution when generating conflict in the presence of monsters that tend to grow up into more powerful forms, since they can rack up experience from killing off the lesser monsters. If you are sufficiently high level, this is usually not much of a problem. Also take care when generating conflict with priests or shopkeepers present. As mentioned above, they can and will attack the player while under conflict and you will still get the usual murder penalties if you kill them.

Be careful when skipping through all of the battle messages while generating conflict, as it is easy to skip over important messages pertaining to, for example, a cockatrice hissing at you and beginning to stone you. Always pay attention to the monsters around you and any status effects that you might have gained during the flood of "The <monster> hits the <monster>!" messages.

The ring of conflict is the general item used for generating by wearing and removing the ring as necessary. The safest method of conflict, from a nutrition standpoint, is the Sceptre of Might - you won't get hungry, but you also only get to turn it on every once in a while. Thus, the Sceptre is best used for emergency crowd-clearing, such as when a spellcasters summons nasties.

Eating a ring to get intrinsic conflict is usually a bad idea as it will burn through nutrition very quickly, and you will have no way of shutting it off. Don't try to dance with gremlins if you ate the ring by accident; neither they (nor anything else) can remove this particular intrinsic, so you'll just have to ascend with it somehow.



In UnNetHack, conflict does not function within the black market.


In xNetHack, as the Sceptre of Might is now the Priest quest artifact, the ability to invoke conflict is given to the new Caveman quest artifact, the Big Stick. The game also tracks "conflictless" conduct, which is broken by generating conflict.


This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-343}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.